Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and
you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 NASB
God says, “When your burden feels heavy, it’s not from Me. Because the burden I give you is light.” Think about it. How often do you carry around a heavy burden? Focusing on ourselves or our problems usually result in carrying a load that is heavy and cumbersome. Jesus says, “Come to Me with your heavy burden. Give it to Me and I will give you rest.” What are some practical ways we can exchange our heavy burden for Jesus’ light load; for His rest? When we exchange it, what happens?
In the Old Testament and under the spiritual leaders of Israel in the New Testament, there were 613 laws that they had to obey and even more than that including tradition. This was a heavy burden. Jesus came and abolished the law through His death and resurrection. He conquered sin and death and freed us from the law of sin and death.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:2 NASB
Jesus says He is gentle and humble in heart. This is what we get. The Greek word for gentle in this verse is praos. It means gentle, humble, considerate, meek. The Spirit gives you the ability to accept what God is doing without resisting. He gives you the ability to rest and trust when you surrender. When I am having trouble doing this because what I want is seemingly in direct opposition to what God wants and is doing, I sometimes sit with the Lord and wrestle with Him until I can finally surrender. Sometimes it is easier and I only need to cry out in a moment of feeling helpless and immediately the rest comes. Still other times, I may turn on praise and worship music or just sit silently before the Lord waiting on Him to give me peace.
C.S. Lewis gives a great definition of humility: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Do you see the difference? This is what Jesus wants to give you…the ability to focus less on yourself because you trust in what He is doing. It’s the opposite of self-centeredness and worry. Whenever we get too focused on ourselves or our problems, we pick up a yoke that Jesus never intends for us to carry.
He says, “Learn from Me.” This is a continual process, not a one time and it’s done. All our life, we will be surrendering and learning from Jesus who is gentle and humble in heart. He will give us rest. He will give us peace. He will give us grace to think less of ourselves and more of others. He will give us the ability to focus on Him, the Shepherd and guardian of our souls.
Father, we long for the day our loved ones will return to You. Sometimes we get impatient and focus on our own desires or we worry that we aren’t doing something more or we get discouraged because we aren’t seeing what we want to see. This is a heavy burden. It’s not from You. Help us to recognize it each and every time and turn to You. We can pray for them and then leave it with You. ______ is continually straying like a sheep, but I will continue to pray until the day he/she has returned to You, The Shepherd and Guardian of his/her soul. (1 Peter 2:25) Any time the burden begins to feel heavy, let me recognize it and remind me to surrender and take Your easy yoke.